Q for You: Do you go to knitting events?

Q for You: Do you go to knitting events?

Big milestone for me and Fringe this weekend: I’m at StitchesWest! And not as an attendee. I’ve got a mini Fringe Supply Co. set up in the Sincere Sheep booth (that’s #944, people! come on down!) so I’m at the event as a vendor. I remember my first Stitches like it was yesterday. Which isn’t that impressive since it was only two years ago. I had just learned to knit, didn’t have any local knitting friends at the time, and decided to go to this thing I’d heard about — a knitting convention! I signed up for three days of classes, and I pulled into the parking garage the first morning and joined the throng of women entering the convention center. And I just remember thinking “What am I doing here? Who AM I?” It was such a completely foreign experience to me, and now here I am going in the back door and setting up my little shop.

So as I write this, I’m realizing I have a little Q for You: Do you go to knitting conventions or fiber festivals of any kind? And if so, what’s the farthest you’ve ever traveled to attend one?

I’ll look forward to reading your responses when I’m done with the show. And I’ll be posting updates here and there on the @fringesupplyco Instagram account throughout the weekend. If you’re at the show, please do stop by and say hello!


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47 thoughts on “Q for You: Do you go to knitting events?

  1. I’ve been to one Sheep and Wool Festival in upstate New York. I was in college, had learned to knit the year before, and a group of us went over for the day. It was pretty close – less than an hour. I desperately want to attend either Rhinebeck or Vogue Knitting NYC, both of which are within two hours of home, but thus far I’ve always had plans on that weekend in October, and knitting conventions aren’t in my budget at the moment. My consolation last year was that I finished a sweater in time for Rhinebeck, wore it that day to a craft fair in my town, and got lots of compliments. Hopefully this year I’ll make it down. My aunt is a knitter and we’ve been meeting every other week for lunch and crafty time, so I might see if she’ll come with me. These events seem like they’d be much more fun with company.

    Have fun at Stitches West!

  2. I’ve never been to a fiber event. Stitches East is held in Atlanta, about 5 hours from me and one day I would love to attend.
    Have the best time at Stitches West, booth 944 looks amazing!

    • Stitches East is held in the NORTH East, I believe in Connecticutt, in the Fall. Stitches SOUTH is held in Atlanta, always in April. I too am a 2 year knitter, and 2013 was my first event, with hopefully many more to come….

      Karen, Good Selling !

  3. I attend any that are in my area. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been many. We have one spring event DFW Fiber Arts that offers classes and vendors. I have traveled to Taos from Texas to see their Oct. event. It is outside and was fun but cold. I wish there were more in our area.

    • I am with Francis. I have been to the DFW Fiber Fest and wish there were more events here. This year the classes sold out before I knew they were up. The Yarn Harlot is speaking at the opener and ask for an act of God that I can get tickets!

  4. I have not attended any yet, but would love to. Unfortunately there is next to nothing in Quebec, I will have to go south, or east or west. Congratulations for your first vendor booth, it is really cute.

    • I love knitting and stitching events. Knitting events I have attended are Stitches East in CT and the Knit and Crochet show in NH. For over twenty years my stitching /knitting buddy and I went first to cross stitch shows in Saratoga Springs, NY, Valley Forge,PA, Buffalo,NY and New Hampshire. We both love the feeling of being in a large group of people who love the same things we do. And of course there is the Shopping!

      • Miss Agnes, have checked out Twist – Fiber Festival/Festival de la Fibre (in St.-André-Avellin, Outaouais Québec)? It’s in August this year, I’ve been thinking of going myself, it sounds really interesting! Here’s a link to the website: http://www.festivaltwist.org/en/

  5. I live in rural Minnesota, and have travelled 3 hours each way to an event at StevenBe’s shop in the Twin Cities. It was so worth it. I’ve been meaning to go to a fiber festival, but I’ve always had something else big going on those weekends. I’ve seriously considered going to TNNA this year, but Alicia Plummer asked me to come have a knitting weekend with her later this year, and she’s roped Bristol Ivy to come with us. So I think I’ll pour the money into traveling there instead. I’ve never been to Maine, but it appears to be some sort of fiber Mecca.

    Also, I have to ask…the picture of your Double Basketweave Cowl: is the picture behind it say, “You’ve been farming long?” because I think my grandpa has that same picture of 2 little boys in overalls.

  6. Wow. You have made a remarkable turnaround, from taking your first classes to opening your own shop! (I love your blog, too) Good luck at the show, have lots of fun. As for me, most of my fiber events have been of the local fresh air market kind. I’ve been knitting for a long time but I’ve also been a mom of a largish family for a long time and it’s been hard to get away for any length of time. However, I do have dreams of Rhinebeck this fall, we’ll see! best wishes!

  7. I’ve never been to something as big as Stitches before, but that’s mostly because living in Omaha, NE there really aren’t any big events like that! I’ve been to a few knitting gatherings though, my favorite of which was a knitting retreat held in Des Moines this past fall. And if I lived closer to where bigger knitting events happened? I’d DEFINITELY go!

    • ahhhh another Minnesotan! Nice to see you here, Gretchen R! I’m down in Cannon Falls, MN (near Northfield and Red Wing). Have you heard of North House Folk School in Grand Marais? I just attended their Northern Fiber Arts Retreat over Valentine’s Day weekend. A lovely place along the North shore of Lake Superior – which was beautiful with all of the ice and snow… bits of blue water peeking through here and there… lighthouses, pine trees, you get the picture! Anyway, it was a beautiful setting for their festival where they held all sorts of traditional craft workshops including knitting, sewing, make your own mukluks, spinning, weaving etc.
      This was my first knitting event and I really enjoyed being in the company of like minded souls. Would love to hear about more opportunities in the area but, I will for sure be heading back up North for Folk School offerings. Grand Marais is a treasure.
      OH – we made Norwegian Style Fingerless Mitts (in the workshop I attended) refered to as “wristers”… no thumb hole, just a cuff that incorporated a northern MN motif throughout. A great keepsake from the relaxing and inspiring weekend!

      • Nice to “meet” you too! I’m way over, outside of Fergus Falls, so the North shore is quite a way away. Though we do sometimes go up there for vacation. I really couldn’t imagine a better spot for a knitting retreat!

  8. Hi – love your blog! I checked out vogue NYC live in Jan with a friend and posted a short blurb about it. It’s a great way to meet the suppliers and get good quality natural fiber yarns. At vogue NYC you also get a sense of what’s trending even though prefer the European sources on that. Have fun and Happy knitting!

  9. Would love to attend a Knitting event. I live in the Pittsburgh area and I am not aware of any held in our area. Maybe someday.

    • Hey Chris, I’m assuming you mean Pittsburgh, PA. :)
      There’s a Knit and Crochet festival in Cranberry Township in mid-March. There’s also a sheep and fiber festival in Waynesburg, PA (not too far away).

  10. I have been to a few knitting events including VK Live, a TKGA convention in Reno and I go to Madrona Fiber Arts Festival every year in February. The farthest I have traveled from San Francisco was to an Amy Herzog retreat in Maine last fall.

  11. Love, love. love your blog – the tag team sweater is genius!!!
    A friend and I traveled 75 miles to Stitches West and were horrified and overwhelmed within minutes of arriving…(attendees sporting head to toe hand knits) Both of us were new knitters and the show was so inspiring we braved an horrific storm the following year. Wish I could be there this year; my favorite LYS, Knitterly, has a booth!
    Planning to visit vogueNYC next year.

  12. I’ve been to Woolfest and the Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft show. Also, the Kendal Woolgathering. Going to both again this year -I cannot wait! Woolfest is gigantic and is on the 27/28th June this year in Cockermouth, Cumbria. Creative Stitches is all over the UK, but the one I am going to is in Glasgow, only a couple of hours from me. I am so excited for Woolfest. I only learnt how to spin from April 2012, and by October 2012 I had had my first spinning stall at a show (Kendal Woolgathering). Love it!

  13. I’m just off to one as soon as my friend’s husband gets home ( no pressure Glyn). Unravel. Last year I went to Fibre East and The Great London Yarn Crawl ( so much fun). I find it hard to go at w/es because my day job is being a vicar so I really like it when shows at least open on Friday.

  14. Wish I could be there! Last year was a lot of fun. And exhausting! I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to, and there are booths I wish I could revisit. I’m sure yours will be a great success!

  15. I made a special trip to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Fair a couple of years ago- which had a terrific marketplace with well enough amazing yarn to keep one occupied, like probably forever! I’ve thought about checking out the Knitters’ Frolic in Toronto, but I’m a small-town gal, too intimidated to fight the traffic in the Big Smoke (probably a good thing for TO drivers!). Plus, committed to de-stashing this year- trying to knit the wonderful yarn I already have. Congratulations on your inspirational, exciting and successful journey!

  16. I have been to the Sheep & Wool Festival at the Washington County Fairgrounds in what is basically Saratoga NY, and to Rhinebeck. I have to say I enjoyed the smaller festival more than Rhinebeck, which was so overcrowded and as such, not very fun. I wasn’t going for classes though, and I love smaller vendors (please come, Karen!). There is a mini Rhinebeck feeling if you want the Northeast in Autumn and a county fair feel, it’s all there with in spades (pitchforks?) and Saratoga nearby is lovely. I almost made it to Stitches East and plan to do that next year. I made the mistake of leaving Rhinebeck at closing time and sat in traffic an hour + to leave and I don’t think it was worth it. Another knitting “event” in my opinion, is the WEBS tent sale event in May, the yarn.com retailer in Northampton. Everyone shopping is totally in great spirits, it’s totally fun and you would be amazed how far people travel from. Lots if people make the pilgrimage to WEBs after Stitches EAST too, I highly recommend that, worth the trip.

    • Oh, I didn’t know about the Sheep & Wool Fest in Saratoga area. That’s closer than Rhinebeck, and as someone who doesn’t deal well with crowds, it certainly sounds nicer. A trip to Webs is also on my wish list. (I live in Columbia County – it’s all rather close!)

  17. I live in south-central BC, and there are no knitting events anywhere around. Sigh, sob. And I can’t afford to travel far for one. So I’ll have to live vicariously through you and others.

  18. I go to the ones that are easy for me to get to. I went to Madrona last week for the first time, and it was lovely. I always go to OFFF just outside of Portland, and had the pleasure of teaching there last year. Sock Summits were awesome, right here in Portland!

  19. I haven’t been to a specific yarn show but the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine (a yearly farm fair, lots of local and organic goods) has a great yarn section with spinning and dying demos, small local wool vendors, weavers and knitters. A really fabulous event, I stock up on my stash there.

  20. I’m going to Unravel in the morning but I have to go to sleep first but right now that seems to be quite a challenge. I am prepared to run to get some Viola from John Arbon and a Knitter badge (I think you call them buttons) from True Brit Knits and a lot of other things too particularly from Eden Cottage and Skein Queen and it will be my first time seeing Sweet Georgia in the flesh. In case you can’t tell I’m quite excited. I’ve been to the Knitting and Stitching Show before but that’s very commercial compared to Unravel and doesn’t have many independents there because its so expensive to have a booth. You’re booth looks awesome by the way and massive kudos to you for going for it. I wish you could come here and bring all your lovely notions and yarn with you. Oh yeah I live in London so it’s only about an hour to Unravel on the train. I am also hoping to go to Unwind, the new festival that Danny from Lioness Arts is organising in Brighton in July which sounds like it’s going to be awesome. I try not to buy yarn in between these things so I can splurge on the good stuff. I would really love to go to Woolfest too but sadly its the same weekend as Glastonbury Festival and nothing really beats that even though it lacks yarn. I probably won’t be thinking about yarn when I’m watching Arcade Fire.

    Sorry for the stream of conciousness ramble!

  21. I was in New York a few weeks ago and foolishly left the day Vogue Knitting Live started! If I had known I would have gone, although I try to be very purposeful about buying yarn (silly to have a huge stash when you aren’t living anywhere permanently) and I may have gone overboard if I were surrounded by so much beautiful yarn. I would love to go to an event someday and maybe even a knitting vacation!

  22. I’ve only ever been to the Scottsbluff County Fiber Arts Fair in Western Nebraska. I went both last year and the year before that. I’m hoping to be a vendor this year. I spin and have a farmer’s market booth. I’m hoping that since this is in my hometown I will be able to do it. Some day I might make it to the Estes Park, Co fair since that isn’t too far away but it will be a while.

  23. I’ve just resumed knitting after +30 year hiatus….and have been wowed by events both local (ridgewood, nj), nyc (vogue Live) and wool & sheep event (Rhinebeck, NY). LOVE, LOVE, LOVE events: I get so excited by all the beautiful yarns, and knitting paraphernalia that I can’t see straight!!! I love talking with the vendors–they are so creative and helpful. biggest problem is that I can’t afford EVERYTHING!!!! have a wonderful time–good luck with your foray into vendorship(?)

  24. This is such a special topic with me. I love knitting events and try to go to as many as possible, of all sizes. I love collecting experiences and I never take any classes. From what I can remember I’ve been to Stitches East, Stitches Midwest, MD Sheep and Wool, and a few in Maine ( Common Ground Fair). I also LOVE to visit farms and buy fiber directly from the source. I tend to do this every time I am in a new state. for my next major adventure, I look forward to going to Canada to Knit East!

  25. Until recently every year we went both to Maryland S&W (5 1/2 hrs each way, but the drive takes us from mud and crocuses to full blown spring, totally worth it!) and to Rhinebeck (an hour closer, and we get to drive through glorious autumn colors in the Catskills). I would still go to Maryland & Rhinebeck b/c the vendors are fabulous, the border collies fun to watch, and the drives are lovely for us so they are great mini-vacations. However, both festivals they have gotten insanely popular – good for them, but they are so packed with people it’s hard even to get into the booths, let alone take a moment to enjoy what is there. So now I stick to smaller venues like the Fingerlakes Fiber Fest near Rochester NY, which pulls about 75 vendors from all over the northeast and upper midwest, and thousands of visitors, but with enough room so that everyone can take time to breath & look & shop without being stampeded by wild-eyed shoppers in a buying frenzy!

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  27. I love the concept of knitting events ! I saw some intersting pics on instagram during Stitcheswest which seems to be a great yarn festival !
    I love all king of knitting events, it could be anything, a yarn festival, a knitting retreat, I just enjoy the concept of sharing time with people who have the same passion as me ! And sometimes thoses knitting events are an opportunity to meet in the real world knitting friends I got thanks to internet!!There are only a few knitting events in France/Europe, most of all consist of workshops or big festivals about all crafts (sewing, knitting, quilting etc…). This summer in July i’m very exited because I’ll attend for the first time to a yarn festival in Brighton organised by Dani Sunshine (Lioness Arts yarns)…we’ll see ;-)

  28. My friend and I travelled from Melbourne, Australia to Stirling, Scotland for the infamous UK Knit Camp in 2009. That’s about 10,500 miles! The event was a bit of a disaster in many respects (check it out on Ravelry) but we had an awesome time in spite of that thanks to the lovely teachers and attendees. Do I win furthest distance travelled :)

    Last year I was lucky enough to attend the first ever Craft Sessions, http://thecraftsessions.com/, in the Yarra Valley near Melbourne. It was a huge success and we’re looking forward to another in September this year. Even if you (readers of these comments) can’t make it you should check out the blog. Felicia is a huge fan of Fringe Association, so she obviously has good taste :)

  29. I’m lucky enough that two small (but excellent) festivals are only a few hours drive away. The Black Sheep Gathering is in Eugene, OR in June, and the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is in Canby, OR in September. I definitely go to both of those every year, as well as any mini-festivals that pop up within an hour’s drive! I would love to go to Rhinebeck someday, or Shetland Wool Week, or Iceland, or pretty much anything on Clara Parkes’ list: http://www.knittersreview.com/upcoming_events.asp

  30. Also, Kari in “south-central” BC. I don’t know exactly where you are, but if you mean British Columbia, there are multiple fiber events in both the Seattle and Vancouver areas. (I say that as someone without a lot of money who lives 3 hours away from the nearest “big city,” Portland, OR!)

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